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Ramona's Ramblings

Because the night…is New Year’s Eve

Ramona Jan
Posted 12/28/21

“Please come to the party. We’ll send a limo for you,” begs my friend on the other end of the phone.

”Well, I don’t know. Can I bring someone?” I ask.

I …

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Ramona's Ramblings

Because the night…is New Year’s Eve


“Please come to the party. We’ll send a limo for you,” begs my friend on the other end of the phone.

”Well, I don’t know. Can I bring someone?” I ask.

I invite a striking six-foot tall Puerto Rican young man named Fabian Blue to be my date. In that stretch limo, I pick Fabian up on Tinton Avenue in the bombed out and nearly vacant South Bronx.

We drift over the GW Bridge and into a rare and bucolic part of New Jersey where we’re deposited at the doorstep of a sprawling 19th century mansion. It’s dark outside and there’s no one there to greet us. We laugh for a good few minutes as we grope around in the pitch of night for the doorbell. And then ding dong! Bruce Springsteen answers the door. (No lie, read on). I suspect he does nothing but wait impatiently on the other side for his guests to arrive.

Bruce wraps an arm around Fabian’s shoulder. They’ve only just met and yet they disappear into the crowd. Someone whispers that Bruce with his newly slicked back hair and leather vest is going through a Puerto Rican phase. Apparently, I brought the right guest.

Bruce’s wife, Patti, wants to catch up. We’ve been friends since forever—holding each other up through tattooed lives. “Who do you think will have kids first?” she once asked. I stared blankly. Children had never occurred to me. We didn’t even have boyfriends.

Patti takes me through a labyrinth of halls and doors to the cribs of their sleeping children. She’s all gooey about what they say and do. Evan’s a charm, Jessica (who’s nicknamed Cannonball) is a pain and the littlest one, Sam (named for Sam Shepard), always wants the dangerous candy. I think the kids are adorable…especially when they’re fast asleep.

It’s time for the annual drawing and this year’s door prize is a large plastic light-up Woody Woodpecker. Just the thing for the Manhattan front yard I don’t have. Bruce draws the winning name. It’s not mine. Dashed are my plans to donate Woody to charity.

It’s almost midnight. The entire party gathers on the front lawn to count down the New Year while a mirrored ball drops from a pole. Patti leans in, “Do you want to stay over?”

No, I think I have to work tomorrow…I’m not a good camper…I like my bed…I have to do an enema in the morning. Please take any one of these excuses for my inability to be a true friend and human.

On my way out something possesses me to pluck a small guitar ornament from their Christmas tree. You can call it stealing. Years later, I paste said ornament into one of my collages and then tell people, “That used to be Bruce Springsteen’s guitar”. Finally, in an effort to be absolved of any wrongdoing, I gift the artwork to a fellow musician. (Fabian, btw, filched a bar of soap and a towel. It’s a good thing we didn’t stay over).

The years pass, some slow, some fast, and all of our lives go in vastly different directions. “Everyone suffers,” says Bruce as he gazes into my eyes from the Facebook trailer of his new movie. I wonder why he’s barely moving his mouth anymore. Is this his suffering?

Fabian has had a sex reassignment. She’s Kal-Elle Jagger now. I’m married with child and living in Damascus, PA. One day, while lunching at Scarfalloto’s Diner in Honesdale, a man sitting next to me let’s out a long groan. It’s not a happy one. Everyone’s suffering, I think. Me, too. I can see that he’s watching the TV above the cashier so I look up and right there on the tube is Patti Scialfa Springsteen hugging Barack Obama. The man groans again and I secretly wonder how she’s doing.


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